Fund tied to Haley attracts top donors

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COLUMBIA — A political group with ties to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has raised more than half a million dollars to push for conservative candidates and causes, according to a newspaper report.

The State reported Friday that The Movement Fund Inc. was set up in March 2011 and is backed by supporters of Haley who want to push conservative causes both in the election and when the General Assembly returns in January. As of mid-August, the fund had raised about $555,000 from four out-of-state donors.

The fund can raise unlimited amounts of money from groups and individuals and spend it to endorse or attack candidates and causes, as long as it does not coordinate its activities with a specific candidate – including Haley.

The donations include $5,000 from multimillionaire Donald Trump, who also contributed to Haley’s gubernatorial campaigns. There are also $250,000 donations from Wyoming multimillionaire Foster Friess and from Bob J. Perry, a wealthy Houston homebuilder.

Haley appointed two of the three directors, including Chad Walldorf, whom she also appointed to lead the State Board of Economic Advisors. Another Haley appointee, Kurt Grindstaff, was treasurer of her 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Haley’s office declined to discuss the committee, saying it does not involve her duties as governor.

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